Groups to protest today against new higher ed immigration bill

Speaking of immigration, a press conference will be held this morning at the state Capitol to protest Senate Bill 458.

The event will be attended by the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance, ACLU of Georgia, Freedom University, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights and state Sen. Nan Orrock of Atlanta. College and high school students are also expected to participate in the 10 a.m. news conference.

SB 458 would bar illegal immigrants from attending all Georgia public colleges. The bill passed a Senate committee last week.

According to the AJC report on the Senate hearing:

But it was the proposed rule of banning some students from the 35 colleges in the University System of Georgia and the 25 in the Technical College System of Georgia that occupied nearly all of the 90-minute discussion.

Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, sponsored SB 458 and described it as a simple measure. He said illegal immigrants are taking college slots away from citizens and stressed they won’t be able to legally work in this country after graduation.“Our colleges and universities are for those that are U.S. citizens and are here legally,” he said.

Loudermilk and others said the University System is violating federal law by admitting these students because attending a public college is a benefit reserved for lawful residents.

Federal law does not bar illegal immigrants from attending public colleges, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The agency wrote in 2008 that “… individual states must decide for themselves whether or not to admit illegal aliens into their public postsecondary institutions.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

30 comments Add your comment

mountain man

February 28th, 2012
6:25 am

“individual states must decide for themselves whether or not to admit illegal aliens into their public postsecondary institutions.”

That is what Georgia is doing. I keep hearing that immigrants in public colleges are not a problem because there are so few of them (300?) then there is a big stink made about prohibiting them from attending. Is it a big deal or not? Since they are undocumented, we have no idea where they are from or why they are in the US. They could be terrorist. They could be murderers. They could be rapists. We don’t know because they have not gone through normal immigrant channels.

I am not a “ship them all back” proponent, but I think reform should be made at the Federal level. But until then, the rule of law should prevail and these people are here illegally. They cannot work here legally. We need to address that.

outsider

February 28th, 2012
7:31 am

@mountain man: Loudermilk says USG is violating federal law by admitting these students. Not true. There are plenty of criminals from the domestic student population. We have even plenty of examples of domestic terrorists. If there are so few of these undocumented students, then why is Loudermilk making a big stink about prohibiting them.

Entitlement Society

February 28th, 2012
8:05 am

If one is undocumented, why bother to use our system for an education, if one if going to be unable to secure a job after graduation due to undocumented status? Go through the proper immigration channels set forth by the USA, then enroll as a US citizen. Problem solved. We don’t go to your country and demand entry to your schools as undocumented citizens. The double standards countinue to amaze me.

Mountain Man

February 28th, 2012
8:17 am

“There are plenty of criminals from the domestic student population. We have even plenty of examples of domestic terrorists.”

If the University system is knowingly allowing convicted criminals to enroll in college, I would like to hear about it. Same with convicted domestic terrorists. The important thing is “knowingly”. When a documented student shows up, the system has the opportunity to deny them entry – that option is not there with an Undocumented student – because they are UNDOCUMENTED. We don’t even know if the name that is given is the correct name.

Mountain Man

February 28th, 2012
8:20 am

Or do you just think that publicly supported colleges (i. e. taxpayer supported colleges) should just admit anyone who has the money to pay the tuition?

Another question – since these students are UNDOCUMENTED, how does the University system know that they are really the person who submitted the admission criteria?

To Moutain Man from Good Mother

February 28th, 2012
8:20 am

I am surprised to hear you are not of the ship them all back mentality. I am. I am usually more left than you are but in this case we are farther apart. I’m to the right and you’re to the left…but I think it might be a matter of where we live. Are there large groups of immigrants where you live? If not, maybe that is the cause for our differences.

I live in the big dirty city of Atlanta and see everyday the negative effects of the immigrant population and the endless money whole they create. I am SAT (sick and tired) of providing my tax dollars for them while they (Latinos) bathe their beautiful little babies in gold chains, bracelets and fancy duds. I volunteer often and you should see these little kids wearing (two and three years old) expensive clothes, gold jewelry and lining up for WIC — Women, Infant Children, a food program for the poor.l It makes me furious.
My kids wear consignment clothes so that I can save for their college education and you won’t find any jewelry danglng around their necks, noess, ears, bracelets and fingers..

SAT
Good Mother

To Moutain Man from Good Mother

February 28th, 2012
8:23 am

Outstanding question “Another question – since these students are UNDOCUMENTED, how does the University system know that they are really the person who submitted the admission criteria?”

and until every single Amreican citizen is in college who wants to be I wouldn’t admit any illegal alien to college for any reason unless it is the college of SHIPEM U.
Good Mother

Old timer

February 28th, 2012
10:18 am

Amen…Good Mother….illegal means illegal….

Dekalb taxpayer

February 28th, 2012
10:19 am

I have experienced what Good Mother has experienced as well—every time I go to the grocery store. I am using coupons and buying only sale items so I can help my kids with their college tuition. Meanwhile the illegal immigrants swipe their food stamp cards. And don’t say they aren’t eligible for food stamps because they are. The social workers aren’t allowed to even ask about their immigration status. I could not fathom entering another country illegally and demanding my “rights.” Only in America.

Ashley

February 28th, 2012
11:41 am

@Dekalb taxpayer and good mother…..Not to mention the luxury cars and SVUs they drive while using WIC and living 6 or more in apartments made for 1 to 2 occupants. Lets not forget how most of the Lenox /Buford Hwy corridor looks like a tenement slum as compare to 20 years ago when the areas weren’t managed by slumlord who only saw dollar signs and didn’t care about the living conditions. As far as I’m concerned if you are here illegally you do not have the right to protest and demand change. Sadly being a citizen makes you a bigot when you disagree with the illegals and demand they not break the law of the land. When they stop using fake SSN and driving around without proper credential, and having babies every nine months I’ll shut-up.

Hate to break it to ya

February 28th, 2012
12:44 pm

If they’re using WIC vouchers, they’re not undocumented. Contrary to popular belief, undocumented folks are ineligible for WIC and all other public assistance. Maybe you’re just assuming all Latinos are undocumented.

Oh, and Reagan gave pure amnesty to all undocumented people living in the US in 1986 (Google “Immigration Reform and Control Act” if you don’t believe it). Isn’t he every conservative’s hero?

3schoolkids

February 28th, 2012
12:49 pm

How do we know the estimate of 300 currently in the USG system is an accurate number? How many are not actually undocumented but are here illegally? I tried to find a government study on estimates of stolen social security numbers and could not find anything. I found one study done by the GOA office from 2002 regarding the large financial cost associated with identity theft but it did not address stolen ssn#s at all. Growth of the federal E-Verify system has led to an astonishing discovery of theft of ssn#s of minors largely tied to illegal immigrants purchasing stolen information to document themselves in order to work. Is the State of Georgia really able to estimate the impact on it’s University System?

JH

February 28th, 2012
12:50 pm

The Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance, ACLU of Georgia, Freedom University, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, etc, etc, etc should be helping / aiding Illegals to become citizens of this country instead of looking for entitlements they don’t deserve because they are NOT CITZENS!

For the life of me I cannot understand how Illegals can constantly find ways to cheat the system(s) and send $$ back home, but yet they constantly claim it is too difficult and expensive to become a LEGAL CITIZEN.

The other sad part is the entitlement disease ILLEGALS have spread here in the US. Deadbeat citizens are taking advantage because if an Illegal (non-citizen) can get away with XY&Z, then why can a US citizen?

JH

February 28th, 2012
12:54 pm

@ Hate to break it ya

If Illegals can purchase real estate in the US, then they can sure as heck get any entitlement (WIC) they want. Tell my brother who lives next door to a foreclosure by an Illegal that they can’t get RE loans and food stamps. ;)

Dekalb taxpayer

February 28th, 2012
1:08 pm

JH, as I understand it, the immigration laws are set up so as to ensure that people immigrating to this country do not become a burden to the taxpayers, thus the requirements for a sponsor, a means of generating income, etc. The people who are heading across the border and going straight to the nearest food stamp office would not qualify for citizenship for this very reason. The Federal government is refusing to enforce the laws which were designed to protect the taxpayers from just what we are experiencing—an onslaught of people who are dependent upon taxpayers for food, education, and health care. And it’s only going to become worse.

Homeschooler

February 28th, 2012
1:27 pm

@JH and others.. “hate to break it to ya” is right. They can not get benefits for themselves. They can, however, get food stamps for their LEGAL children. The whole thing is a complete mess. I see every side of this situation because I 1) work for DFCS. 2) live in Smyrna and 3) am married to a landscape contractor who has tried unsuccessfully for 15 yrs to find an American who will actually WORK.
I have seen really good illegals who would do anything for their families and are completely willing to pay taxes or do whatever is necessary to provide. I have also seen that many of these people are raising children who have no where near the work ethic their parents have, so, I believe we are going to be left with more families to support when they are grown and have learned that Americans don’t really have to work at all.
Hard to tell where I stand on the subject? I know. I’m constantly conflicted. I say…stop letting Americans get a free ride. Force them to work or starve and there won’t be any need for the illegals. Face it. They are here because we needed them when housing was booming. Our mistake was letting them enroll their children in the public schools. They would have left their children in Mexico had we not done that. Yes they would have sent money back to Mexico but we wouldn’t have all these legal babies to contend with now. And, they do contribute to our economy. Most of them do not have food stamps. (most are making too much money to qualify). If we had just allowed the men here to work on temporary visas in the early 90’s to the early 2000’s we could have used them for their labor and sent them back. win. win. But, no. We accepted the children into our schools and allowed them to start new lives here. I don’t believe anyone would choose the life in Mexico over the life here. I don’t blame them. I would have come here too. I know of an illegal here who recently sent his family back to Mexico. He pays money to a mob type organization to “protect” his family and their belongings. It is a very scary place. The situation is not going to be solved by “shipping them all back”. The kids who were raised here need a path to citizenship. It should be for those with the most to offer. It should have strict rules. IF we allow them to go to school here they should be responsible for the full amout of tuition. No federal funded student loans or scholarships.
I’m a lot more worried about the kids who were born here than those who were born in Mexico and ended up here. Those kids seem to have a desire to succeed. Their “American” counterparts, however are going to be the new gimme class. They will be able to survive without working. Mark my words. In 10 yrs we will have latino gangs all over Metro Atlanta. Just like L.A.

And yes they can purchase real estate.

JH

February 28th, 2012
2:18 pm

Reagan gave amnesty to about 3 million. You can’t compare what happened 25 years ago to what is happening today, or in the past decade for that matter. Are we a nation of laws or not?

And please don’t try to insult our intelligence that Illegals don’t cheat the system. Parents who lie and cheat are raising children that will do the same. It is a vicious cycle that must be stopped. Forgive me if my compassion has run dry!

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

February 28th, 2012
2:43 pm

Homeschooler

February 28th, 2012
1:27 pm

“Mark my words. In 10 yrs we will have latino gangs all over Metro Atlanta. Just like L.A.”

We already have latino gangs all over Metro Atlanta (see Gwinnett, which has become the drug distribution capital of Eastern North America and led the Eastern U.S. in kidnappings, all of which were in 2008).

Hall, Cobb and Whitfield (Dalton) Counties ain’t exactly crime-free either with their dominant Latino populations as gangs like MS-13, SUR-13, Latin Kings and the Mexican Mafia already have deep and nearly inseparable ties in the Metro Atlanta community and in North Georgia.

bu2

February 28th, 2012
3:05 pm

We actually recruit foreign students to some of our colleges. I don’t see why we should treat “undocumented” residents worse than total foreigners. Keeping these people out of college encourages a permanent underclass.

Its interesting that in Texas, which has a much worse problem with illegal immigration, they allow in-state tuition. The further away from the issue, the more extreme the solutions. These people are an integral part of the economy, even in Georgia. Kicking them all out and pushing them further underground are solutions that hurt legal residents economically. We’re already hurting the farmers.

What'sbestforGeorgia?

February 28th, 2012
9:30 pm

This bill has unintended negative consequences for Education in GA. These are some of the problems I foresee with banning students who are unlawfully present from going to college in Georgia:

1. According to Governor Deal’s Complete College Georgia initiative, we need more College Grads from the USG, not fewer. We can keep 300 more College graduates right now by just removing the post-secondary language from SB 458.

2. Our K-12 Teachers have an ambitious few of these fully prepared to succeed in College. Banning the “cream of the crop” will create a small, but significant brain drain. Locally cultivated talent will end up going out of state instead of staying in GA and paying full tuition. Others will just stay here but never reach their full potential.

3.Higher education = greater personal independence and less crime. Fewer educational opportunities lead to more social ills, potentially costing the State of GA.

4. Taking away the motivation to succeed from some students in high school might create attitude problems in classrooms that will affect all students.

5. The students directly affected by SB 458 feel that they are Georgians and have loyalty to this State. They really believe that since they were kids when they came here that they did not personally break the law. They are positioned to be as productive to the State of Georgia as international students if allowed.

6. Although they may have to find employment after college somewhere else, these ambitious young people will be USG alumni and friends of Georgia around the world decades from now.

I say Let them study.

What'sbestforGeorgia?

February 28th, 2012
9:35 pm

These are some of the problems I foresee with banning students who are unlawfully present from going to college in Georgia:

1. According to Governor Deal’s Complete College GA initiative we need more College Grads from the USG, not fewer. We can keep 300 more College graduates right now by just removing the post-secondary language from SB 458.

2. Our K-12 Teachers have an ambitious few of these fully prepared to succeed in College. Banning the “cream of the crop” will create a small, but significant brain drain. Locally cultivated talent will end up going out of state instead of staying in GA and paying full tuition. Others will just stay here but never reach their full potential.

3. Higher education = greater personal independence and less crime. Fewer educational opportunities lead to more social ills, potentially costing the State of GA and causing criminality.

4. Taking away the motivation to succeed from some students in high school creates attitude problems in classrooms that will affect all students.

5. The students directly affected by SB 458 feel that they are Georgians and have loyalty to this State. They really believe that since they were kids when they came here that they did not personally break the law. They are positioned to be as productive to us as international students if allowed.

6.Although they may have to find employment after college somewhere else, these ambitious young people will be international USG alumni and friends of Georgia decades from now.

Hate to break it to ya

February 28th, 2012
9:56 pm

I’m a public school educator, and I see the immigration issue from my perspective as well. In my experience dealing with many, many undocumented students–and US citizens with undocumented parents–the idea that they do not contribute to the economic welfare of our state and country is simply misguided.

People complain that “illegals send all their money back home,” and while some may go back, much of it stays here to pay for rent (and thus property taxes which pay for schools), homes, cars, clothes, groceries, and so on. They pay sales tax on all of those purchases. Many undocumented workers are paid by check, not cash, and both state and federal taxes are deducted, even though they do not qualify to access public assistance. And they money they pay into Social Security? They will never get that back.

I help students who are citizens apply for federal financial aid, and those who have undocumented parents can always provide their parents’ 1040. Yes, the undocumented file taxes.

This country has helped create illegal immigration through economic policy (e.g., NAFTA & CAFTA), and we are reaping the harvest. The violence pouring over our borders is due to the American demand for drugs and the money here to purchase them. Yet we all want to point fingers South of the border with the blame. Sad.

Hate to break it to ya

February 28th, 2012
10:01 pm

And before anyone says undocumented workers are filing taxes with fake SSNs, they’re filing with a legal ITIN (individual tax ID number) that they can get for free from the IRS by completing a one-page application that is available in both English and (surprise!) Spanish.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

February 28th, 2012
11:34 pm

The problem with letting illegal aliens attend state-funded institutions at any tuition rate, in-state or out-of-state, is that very limited spots are taken away from legal Georgian citizens whom pay the taxes that fund the operation and existence of these great and beneficial institutions.

Legal Georgian citizens should always have priority over out-of-state students and legal immigrants and aliens. Illegal aliens should not even be up for consideration as there are only about roughly 310,000 spaces (in a state of roughly 10 million residents) in publicly-funded University of Georgia system institutions both four-year and two-year.

There are NOT an unlimited number of spots in the UGA system. All of the estimated 385 illegal aliens who are attending classes at state post-secondary institutions are doing so at the expense of legal Georgian citizens as there have been veterans of the U.S. Military that have been denied access to state institutions because one of those precious few spots were taken by an illegal alien which is ABSOLUTELY and COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE to the law-abiding and taxpaying citizens of this great state.

Publicly-funded postsecondary education is a BENEFIT that is to be preserved for law-abiding citizens of the state of Georgia, NOT out-of-state students, NOT legal aliens and, ESPECIALLY, NOT ILLEGAL ALIENS.

There is no room for compromise or nuance on this issue. This bill MUST become law IMMEDIATELY.

Rebecca

February 28th, 2012
11:51 pm

If I understand the bull (I misspelled “bill” but figured it’s okay to leave it since it’s a synonym) correctly, the undocumented students can’t even apply AT ALL, yet a student still in Mexico who has the same of lack-of-citizenship CAN. That just doesn’t seem right. Also, I know it’s difficult to get past the fact that they’re illegal, but these are most likely the children of the “border-hoppers” you refer to.

bu2

February 29th, 2012
10:16 am

@Will
There are FOUR schools that limit their enrollment in Georgia out of 35. So noone is getting shut out of Georgia system universities.

Eliminating foreign and out-of-state students gets rid of potential future contributors to the state’s economy and takes valuable diversity out of the system. Getting rid of those groups would probably eliminate any technology companies from ever locating in this state. One thing Georgia desperately needs is some outside thinking. There is way too much re-inventing the wheel and doing it the way it has always failed to work in Georgia. Georgia is EXTREMELY insular across the political spectrum.

Pompano

February 29th, 2012
11:44 am

@bu2 – I think you’re having difficulty grasping the topic here. This has nothing to do with limiting foreign or out-of-state students – I’m pretty sure everyone participating in this blog sees the obvious benefits and no one has remotely suggested restricting legal citizens from attending our Colleges & Universities.

The bill is about restricting access for ‘Illegal immigrants” (do some research on the meaning of the term).

bu2

February 29th, 2012
12:09 pm

@Pompano
Will the last democrat did say foreign and out-of-state students shouldn’t be allowed in. I was responding to him.

Hate to break it to ya

February 29th, 2012
4:20 pm

Not only are undocumented students NOT taking seats from citizens, when they are accepted, they are paying two to three times the tuition that in-state students pay. Yes, some colleges have a separate “out-of-state” and “international” tuition, and the last one is TRIPLE the tuition. Out-of-state students don’t pay taxes in Georgia, and they pay double. Expalin the problem to me again…

What'sbestforGeorgia?

March 1st, 2012
2:56 pm

It seems incredibly short sighted to cut off access to education for a key part of our future workforce. Most of those effected by the Post Secondary Eductation language in this bill were brought to this country as little children and have successfully made it through elementary, middle and High School. In the meantime their parents have paid the sales taxes, property taxes, user fees, excise taxes and income taxes that fund the schools. Not to mention buying education funding lottery tickets, including an instant win game targeted at the immigrant community called Lotteria http://www.galottery.com/games/instant-gam… .

The fact is the biggest challenge facing this country is not an “immigrant invasion.” Numerous articles point out that immigration has slowed down to a trickle. The squeeze being placed on the middle class is from shipping jobs and profits overseas. And the challenge to supporting social security and the elderly in general is trying to increase the population of working age people. Our country’s demographics have shifted to a growing retirement age population supported by a proportionally shrinking working age population. Its these young workforce additions that we need – unless you subscribe to Santorum’s idea of making White people have more babies.

Furthermore as articles point out, Georgia’s real estate problems stem in part from the dramatic drop in population growth in the state due to less people moving here. Pursuing Mitt Romney’s immigration plan of forced self deportation will exacerbate pressures on our excess housing stock. Not to mention those most productive will be the first to self deport themselves.

From an economic and moral point of view this bill is bad.